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functional food

Make good use of foods and herbs that are rich in natural antioxidants and immune-enhancers which work synergistically to protect you.

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Beware Of Truvia

Beware Of Truvia

In 2009 the US FDA approved two versions of a new sweetener developed for Coca-Cola and Pepsi, Truvia and PureVia, both of which use rebiana—an extract from the South American plant Stevia. Truvia has just hit the market in Great Britain supported by gigantic public relations celebrations that would do an aspiring politician proud. Stevia, in its natural state, is the best no-calorie health-supporting natural sweetener on the planet. Here is what you should know: 1. TRUVIA IS NOT STEVIA. 2. I ADVISE THAT YOU AVOID IT. Like every plant which has long been used as a food source, Stevia is a complex of synergistic substances and compounds including numerous steviosides, rebaudiosides, and glycosides. It is this synergistic power that creates its unique benefits including its anti-oxidant properties. When the FDA declared that these two manufactured zero-calorie sweeteners were “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) it referred only to a couple of the active ingredients taken from Stevia that had been used in manufacturing including rebaudioside A—a component which imparts to the natural Stevia plant some of its sweet taste. What takes place when you extract only one or two of a plant’s parts and throw away the rest? Does the product you make out of this affect your body the same way as the natural plant? Virtually never. In The Toxicology of Rebaudioside A: A Review, researchers at UCLA report that a living organism metabolizes stevioside compounds and rebaudioside A at different rates. This makes it impossible to assess the potential risks to the body. The company behind the development of both Truvia and PureVia is Cargill. Cargill is one of the most notorious corporate polluters in America (which Conde Nast Portfolio listed as one of the “Toxic Ten.”) Coke and Cargill have conducted their own ‘research’ into the safety of Truvia on which the FDA gave them the go ahead to sell the sweetener. However, no genuinely independent studies have been done to affirm the safety of the product. And as even the Truvia website itself states: “While rebiana is natural and comes from a plant, it is not certified or grown organically at this time. That could happen in the future, depending on consumer demand.” How absurd. How can you claim to have invented an “all-natural” zero-cal sweetener that is not only not organically grown but which no genuinely independent studies have shown to be safe to use over time? THE BEST SWEETENER Last, and by no means least, remember that nature has given us many wonderful wholesome sweeteners which can be used in moderation without any adverse effects. The best sweetener of all is natural stevia—available from iHerb.com. Here are the two best stevias I have found anywhere. The first is great for baking, porridge, and sprinkling. The second is ideal to sweeten tea, coffee, sparkling water, and anything that requires a liquid form. It is also absolutely delicious. STEVITA:SPOONABLE STEVIA Stevita Spoonable Stevia uses only stevia extract with at least 95% pure glycosides (extremely sweet tasting ingredients of the Stevia herb leaves), and erythritol, a crystal granulated naturally produced filler found in fruits, vegetables and grains Order Stevita from iherb ENGLISH TOFFEE STEVIA All Natural, Zero Calories, Dietary Supplement. SweetLeaf liquid stevia with all natural flavors is convenient and easy to use. As a supplement, add nutritious stevia to water, tea, coffee, milk, sparkling water, protein shakes, plain yogurt or anything else you can imagine.. Order SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia from iherb

Nature's Female Aphrodisiacs

Nature's Female Aphrodisiacs

Most people treat aphrodisiacs as folk fantasy. Don’t be deceived. When libido flags in women, there are many herbs that can help revive it. The biochemistry of plants like ginseng, dong quai, fennel, shilajit—even a few essential oils can bring powerful sexual regeneration to your body and intensify your libido. It’s your own individual response to specific herbs that holds the key to which aphrodisiacs are best for you. Loss of your libido can have many different causes. So when turning to herbs for help in the sexual arena, you will need to experiment a bit to find which plants work best for you. But watch out. It can not only be easy to create an experience of intense desire; it can be just as easy for a woman to end up fertilized by the results of it. Shatavari—Asparagus racemosus This Ayurvedic female rejuvenation tonic is also an excellent aphrodisiac as well. It’s been used for thousands of years as a female tonic to correct menstrual and menopausal imbalances as well. Traditionally known as “She who has 1,000 husbands”, it was long believed to give a woman the strength and passion to handle 1,000 lovers. Organic shatavari root extract contains a full spectrum of active and synergistic constituents, including saponins containing shatavarin. Use only this herb which is naturally grown or ethically wild crafted so it contains no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Wild Yam—Dioscorea villosa Often restores a woman’s libido so successfully that I wouldn’t advise you to use it unless you have a sexual partner. You can take it as a tincture—½ to1 teaspoon in water twice a day—or as a dried herb in capsules, 4-6 capsules a day. I have known women who take as many as 10 capsules a day, but less than this works very well for most. American Ginseng—Panax ginseng Is as good a raiser of libido in women as it is in men, despite the assumption that it is a male plant. It is particularly useful for post-menopausal women. Drink it as a tea three or four times a day. Be patient it takes time to do its work. Shilajit—known by many names in many countries Has been used as an aphrodisiac and female fertility treatment for centuries. One of the most powerful “herbal” substances known, it has been used for thousands of years all over the world. It comes in a thick, tar-like form containing over 80 minerals from Himalayan rocks. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-stress and anti-anxiety, as well as anti-aging. Be sure to buy only the highest grade of Shilajit, wild crafted and gathered from the Himalayas, since only the finest will bring you your desired goal. Fennel—Foeniculum vulgare Is replete with plant steroids. In animal experiments it has been shown to raise the libido of both males and females. You can take it as a tea. Bruise a teaspoon of organic fennel seeds and pour 2 cups of boiling water over them. Steep for 5 minutes, strain and drink. Caution: Do not use fennel oil on your body when you are pregnant, as it has been known to cause miscarriage. Other simple herbs which you can add to your foods with a good reputation for enhancing libido are parsley, fenugreek—great to sprout and eat in salads—ginger, and anis. Even coca, from which chocolate is made, is a mild aphrodisiac. You can also use certain essential oils to enhance libido on the night. Massage your body and your partner’s with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or apricot oil to which you have added one of the aphrodisiac essences: Clary sage, ylang ylang, rose, or jasmine. Of course, this is for external use only. It’s powerful stuff—you need only 1 drop of an essential oil to each teaspoon of carrier oil. A capsule of vitamin E squeezed into the oil when you mix it helps keep it fresh longer. Next week on our Sacred Truth Podcast, we’ll be looking at some of the best aphrodisiacs for men, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, check out the links below for the best products you can find. Paradise Herbs, Organics, Shatavari, 60 Veggie Caps Paradise Organic Shatavari ultimate ayurvedic extract is the highest quality nature has to offer. Using a 100% natural extraction method the true essence and breath of the whole herbs is captured therefore retaining all of its active and synergistic constituents in the balanced ratio nature intended. Order Paradise Herbs, Organics, Shatavar from iherb Herb Pharm, Wild Yam We prepare our Wild Yam Extract from the rhizome of Dioscorea villosa vines which are Certified Organically Grown especially for us in their native forest habitat in eastern Kentucky. Order Herb Pharm, Wild Yam from iherb Nature's Way, Wild Yam, Root Capsules Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) was historically offered as "colic root" and used in herbal remedies for gastrointestinal irritations. In recent years it has become popular for women's health. Order Nature's Way, Wild Yam from iherb Triple Leaf Tea, American Ginseng American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) has long been a popular herb. Modern research confirms both American and Asian ginsengs contain ginsenosides and supports their long history of use. Order Triple Leaf Tea, American Ginseng from iherb Dragon Herbs, High Mountain Shilajit Shilajit is one of the premier "herbal" substances known to humankind. Shilajit has been used for thousands of years throughout much of the world as a tonic. Order Dragon Herbs, High Mountain Shilajit from iherb Organic Whole Fennel Seed A graceful plant, fennel is an aromatic, hardy, perennial with golden yellow flowers and feathery leaves. Also known as garden fennel, this plant's botanical name, Foeniculum vulgare, comes from the Latin for "fragrant hay" Order Organic Whole Fennel Seed from iherb

MultiVitamins Matter - Shun The Synthetics

MultiVitamins Matter - Shun The Synthetics

The shelves of health food stores are chock-a-block with vitamin and mineral supplements. If you want to get the very best of them for the sake of your own health and that of your family you’ll need to choose them carefully. Despite their big price tags and the sexy designs that appear on their labels, the vast majority of multi vitamin and mineral products consist of synthetically manufactured chemical lookalikes of no value to your health. You’ve got to go for feed-state multivitamins and minerals if you want health supporting benefits. More about this in a moment. WHO NEEDS VITAMINS ANYWAY? We all do, despite the fact that a myriad of medical professionals completely untrained in good nutrition continue to tell their patients that taking supplements does nothing but produce expensive urine. This is nonsense. As far back as 20 years ago impeccable research was being published in reputable scientific journals making it obvious that human beings benefit from taking the right kind of multivitamin supplement. For instance, one excellent study which appeared in The Journal of the American Medical Association showed that women who take over-the-counter multivitamin supplements in the first months of pregnancy dramatically reduce the risk of giving birth to a neurologically damaged child. Neural tube defects are amongst the most horrible and most common birth defects. They cause everything from death to paralysis in the child and they affect between 1 and 2 babies in every 1000 births. The study was carried out under the direction of Aubrey Milunsky, director of Boston University's prestigious Center for Human Genetics. It involved 23,000 women, half of whom took multivitamin pills containing folic acid (a B-group vitamin in particularly high demand during pregnancy). The results were astonishing. The incidence of neural tube defects in babies born to the women who took the multivitamin pills was only a quarter of what it was amongst those women who took no supplements. SHAKING THE FEDS So remarkable were these results that they shook United States Federal officials who have for generations claimed that taking nutritional supplements is not only unnecessary but can be damaging to an ordinary 'healthy' person's wellbeing. Nonetheless, the FDA and CODEX still insist that “nutrition is not relevant to health” and that if any vitamins and minerals are to be allowed on the market they will only be permitted in ultra-low doses. Clinically effective nutrients and doses are month-by-month being treated as “toxins” and removed from public access. How do we get around this? By taking good quality Food State Supplements instead of the run-of-the-mill chemically produced varieties. WHY YOU NEED FOOD STATE Most vitamins sold in stores and online are synthetic man-made vitamins that have been produced in the laboratory in an attempt to match the molecular structure of naturally occurring vitamins normally found in our foods. As a result they tend to contain high doses of the chemically-made nutrients in an attempt to make enough of each nutrient biologically available to the body. It is just these high dosages that the FDA and CODEX are targeting by making them illegal to be sold over-the-counter. But there is a wonderful way around this which I strongly urge you to explore—to shun chemically made vitamins (which over 90% on the market are) and go for their Food State cousins. Our bodies have been accustomed to absorbing with ease the vitamins and minerals that we get from our foods. Man-made synthetics, even though they try to match the molecular structures of vitamins and minerals, are not the same. Our bodies do not handle them as well, so you may be taking a high potency man-made synthetic that has come recommended, but you may not actually be absorbing the vitamins and minerals it contains. This is one of the reasons why I am so passionate about whole-food, natural multi-vitamins and minerals. GROWN NUTRIENTS Good manufacturers of whole-food vitamins and minerals grow the majority of the foods and botanicals that go into their formulas themselves. Then, using state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation, they test, validate and document the potencies of all the raw materials that make up the formula. This is achieved by using high performance liquid chromatography to test vitamin potency and inductively coupled plasma optimal emission spectrometers to test mineral potency. They are also very careful in how they handle the food extracts that are often added to these supplements. For instance, they use a very specific system of drying which transfers heat gently and efficiently, removing moisture from delicate foods and botanicals while preventing oxidation of the raw materials. This protects the integrity of the food and the botanicals as well as protecting against the degradation of their nutrient content, maintaining the color and the flavor. TREMENDOUS BENEFITS Because natural Food State vitamins are indeed natural and food-state, you will find that the recommended daily serving of vitamins per person is usually somewhere between six and eight tablets a day in order to be able to obtain the full benefit. In addition to the usual vitamins, i.e. vitamin A, C, D3, E, K1, folate, and so forth, there should be a good broad spectrum of minerals: calcium, iodine, magnesium, selenium, chromium, molybdenum, manganese, etc. These wonderful food-state vitamins also often contain extracts taken from other plants that are beneficial to the body, things like extract of barley grass and green papaya, extract of carrot for instance, as well as astragalus. They may also contain many of the Ayurvedic herbs or the herbs that are used in Chinese medicine—reishi and shitake mushrooms, foti and kudzu root. This is the kind of vitamin that I think you will benefit most from. BUYER BEWARE There are many vitamins on the market that claim to be whole-food vitamins but that are not of top quality. Always make sure, whatever vitamin/mineral complex you choose, that it is free of corn, soy, yeast, wheat and dairy products, and it has been formulated without the use of preservatives, artificial flavors or coloring. Here are some food-state vitamin and mineral supplements at the top of my own list. Tried and tested, they are worth every penny you pay for them. I have used all of these products personally and can’t recommend them highly enough. If you try some of them, I’d love you to let me know how you have found them yourself. MegaFood, Women's, Whole Food Multivitamin MegaFood cares about doing things the right way - they refuse to take shortcuts, and never compromise on quality or the things that matter. Since 1973, they have been going out of their way to source fresh and local foods from trusted farmers. They then make all their wholesome supplements using a one-of-a-kind process to deliver the most authentic nutrition - much more than vitamins alone. Order MegaFood Womens Whole Food Multi from iherb MegaFood, Baby & Me, California Blend, Whole Food Multivitamin Ideal for pregnant and lactating women Order Baby And Me Multi from iherb MegaFood, Men Over 40, Whole Food Multivitamin & Mineral, Iron Free Formula MegaFood cares about doing things the right way - we refuse to take shortcuts, and we never compromise on quality or the things that matter. Since 1973, we have been going out of our way to source fresh and local foods from trusted farmers. We then make our wholesome supplements using our one-of-a-kind process to deliver the most authentic nutrition - much more than vitamins alone. Order Men Over 40 Multi from iherb MegaFood, Skin, Nails & Hair, Whole Food Multivitamin MegaFood cares about doing things the right way - we refuse to take shortcuts, and we never compromise on quality or the things that matter. Since 1973, we have been going out of our way to source fresh and local foods from trusted farmers. We then make our wholesome supplements using our one-of-a-kind process to deliver the most authentic nutrition - much more than vitamins alone. Order Skin, Nails & Hair Multi from iherb

End Your Depression

End Your Depression

Depression is a killer. I know. I suffered from it badly in my twenties. I think I must have been born with a genetic tendency towards it. As a result, I know so well the deep sadness, feelings of shame and helplessness, the terrible fatigue coupled with not being able to sleep to relieve it, the poor concentration and the strange shifts in appetite that come with it. When you feel depressed, you often feel anxious as well. I’ve learned a lot about how to help people banish both. depression There are many causes of depression—some come from the body and some from the psyche. I believe you can’t separate the two. Just as your body and mind interact with each other to produce the dark, seemingly endless blues that can set in at any period in your life, so can your body and mind work together to clear depression from your life. Few people know this, but wherever you find depression, you almost always find a mass of creative energy as well, which—for one reason or another—has remained blocked. This makes you feel impotent and helpless until it can be set free. You may discover that you have been trying to live your life too conventionally—that is, by other people’s rules—rather than trusting yourself, honouring your own unique truths, and living by them, come hell or high water. When depression is long-standing and debilitating, you may even come to feel you have no soul to live from. This is completely untrue. I love the wonderful American saying, “Tell the truth and shame the devil.” Once you learn to do this, depression begins to its grip on you forever. Deep cleansing your body Deep cleansing your body is the first step to releasing blocked creative energy and restoring the biochemical balance to wash your blues away. Try following a long-term way of eating based on real food, not the packaged stuff they try to sell you in supermarkets: fresh spray-free vegetables—many of them raw—and top quality proteins from wild fish, organic meat, free range chicken, and eggs. Avoid all cow’s milk products including milk itself, yoghurt, and cheese (butter is OK because it is a fat, and it’s the milk protein that tends to cause problems for people prone to depression). Explore sheep milk, cheeses and yogurts, goat milk products or buffalo milk products—my favorites. Must important: Stop eating anything made with wheat or other grains and cereals, including pasta, breakfast cereals, breads and biscuits. Make all processed convenience foods a thing of the past. Eat Real Food A diet free of convenience foods releases you from the sort of metabolic disturbance which causes mood swings and depression. It was just such a diet—one in which at least 50-75% of the foods I ate were raw—that cleared my own deep depression. It frees your body and opens up your mind. You start to see life with a much broader view. You begin to feel a sense of excitement each day with whatever you are doing. But be patient. It takes time for the transformation to happen. Gradually feelings of depression and impossibility melt away like snow drifts in the warmth of spring sunshine. You begin to experience your own natural energies as a more balanced state of mind emerges. More peaceful and centered, you come to see that you are really able to do whatever it is you want to do. Your body is a magnificent system capable of the most incredible regeneration and renewal. You can let go of all the anti-depressant drugs. Recent research shows that most are no better than placebos. When you learn to live on simple, pure, natural organic foods, this helps you transform your whole being physically, emotionally and spiritually—in effect, to discover who you are at the deepest level of your being, and come to live your life from there. I did it. So have thousands of others who never dreamed this might be possible. So can you. A human being is most certainly "fearfully and wonderfully made". It’s time to discover this for yourself.

Great Stuff For Energy And Clarity

Great Stuff For Energy And Clarity

I love high quality herbal products you can rely on to do the job when you need some help. I have just discovered one such product on iHerb.com. It’s called Arctic Root. I use it when I feel stressed, need mental clarity and have a sense I could do with some more stamina. A proprietary blend centered around SHR-5 extract of Rhodiola rosea root, Arctic Root was awarded Product of the Year by the Swedish Health Council four years in a row. A creation of the Swedish Health Institute—a world leader in natural immune support and adaptogens with more than 35 years of research—Arctic Root is a real find. An adaptogenic plant means a plant capable of strengthening an organism's "non-specific resistance" to aging, illness and fatigue. Adaptogens include many 'rejuvenating' plants such as ginseng, damiana, and sarsaparilla - all of which are capable of enhancing the body's ability to adapt itself to all forms of stress while at the same time normalizing its biochemical activities. The product comes in a packet of 40 capsules at one of iHerb.com’s ridiculously low prices—US$10 when the product retails elsewhere at US$16.55. Even Aaron, whom I convinced to try it, was impressed by the support it brings him. Original Arctic Root Rhodiola Rosea The recommended dose is 2 capsules a day—one in the morning and the other later in the day—so I order three packs at a time. iHerb ship worldwide so fast that it sometimes makes my head spin and their shipping costs are the lowest anywhere. Order Original Arctic Root Rhodiola Rosea from iherb ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: If you decide to order any products from Iherb.com, you will automatically receive $5 or $10 off your first order. Their products are the cheapest and best in the world…I use them for everything no matter where I am. Get it sent to you via DHL. It will be with you in three to four working days… iHerb.com ship all over the world very cheaply.

Detox And Gain Health

Detox And Gain Health

2500 years ago Hippocrates, the father of medicine, pointed out that “All diseases are crises of purification—toxic elimination.”  The entire basis of natural medicine is based on his declaration. If Hippocrates knew the massive onslaught of toxicity that we face today, he would have turned over in his grave.  I don’t think he could have imagined it in his worst nightmare.  100,000 new chemicals In the last 80 years, more than 100,000 new chemicals have turned up in our environment. More than 95% of these have never even been tested. 4000 of them have been added to our foods.  The average child is exposed to 3.5 ounces of these chemicals every day of its life. These dangerous substances are taken into our own bodies as well, in even greater amounts. The average adult now carries more than 700 times the levels of toxic chemicals, heavy metals and pollutants than our grandparents were exposed to. Where do they come from?  From the manufactured fast foods and packaged convenience foods we buy in our supermarkets.  From herbicides and pesticides sprayed on our foods. From (PCBs), aromatic hydrocarbons and even flame retardants in the clothes we buy, as well as hundreds of other sources.   These toxic chemicals do not degrade.  They accumulate in the environment and pollute the food chain, undermining human health to a degree that has never before been seen.  Yet we keep eating manufactured foods, and we keep giving them to our children.  Then we wonder why we become ill. Too often we turn to conventional medicine which tells us we should take powerful pharmaceutical drugs that can only suppress symptoms temporarily while polluting our bodies with yet more toxicity.  Is there a possible end to all of this?  Are we able to protect ourselves and our children? Can We Protect Ourselves It’s not easy but the answer is yes.  We can. If we are serious about clearing all this toxicity from our bodies and restoring health to ourselves. bringing this about can be faster than you may ever have imagined.  We need to make changes in what we eat.  It starts with a return to REAL foods—foods grown on healthy soils.  If you have a garden, start planting organic vegetables and fruits.  If you live in an apartment, start growing sprouted seeds and grains in jars in your kitchen window.  Then search for a source of organic vegetables and fruits near you and clear your cupboards of manufactured foods altogether.  Next, eat half of your foods raw, and make sure they are organically grown.  The protein foods you buy should come from animals that have been naturally farmed—eggs from free-range, organic chickens, and meats from healthy animals that have been grazed on green grass.  If you eat fish, make sure they are wild. Never eat the farmed fish. They have been raised on waste products you do not want to take into your body.  Educate your friends, your children to question every advertisement they see on television.  People are smart if you give them a chance. All they need is a little encouragement to voice their opinion about what is true and what is fraudulent.  And if you Start now, in three months’ time the difference in your health will astound you.

A Passion For Herbs

A Passion For Herbs

For more than a million years we humans have lived with herbs. We’ve cooked with them, healed with them, scented our homesand sanctified our prayers with them. On a molecular level, our body recognizes a herb when we take it. Unlike taking a chemical or drug, our body responds to herbs as though they are old friends. When you get to know the nature of a specific plant it enhances your life immeasurably. You can come to know a herb the way a woman knows her lover. When the spirit of a plant meets the spirit of a human you can expect magic. Thanks both to traditional practices and recent scientific discoveries, we now know that certain plants can work wonders for the human body. The classic definition of a herb is a non-woody plant which dies down to its roots each winter. This definition is far too limiting. It was probably made up by 19th Century European botanists who had never seen the rainforest in which, of course, there is no winter to die back in. Neither had they ever heard of woody trees and shrubs such as hawthorn, ginko and elder which are some of the best selling herbs on the market these days. I define a herb as a medicinal plant. It can come from any climate and be a leaf, a bark, a flower or a root. It can be home-grown or wild, a weed, a spice, a plant, which is used for its healing or culinary or beautifying properties. Here are a few simple herbs that can be fun and fruitful to explore: ALOE HEALS The cool, slippery gel oozed out of a leaf of the aloe cactus has been used for almost 3000 years to treat burns and cuts and to undo the devastating effects of too much exposure to the sun. Recent studies show that phyto substances from the aloe actually penetrate damaged tissue encouraging healing and increasing blood flow while easing inflammation and pain. GINSENG STRENGTHENS The Ancient Chinese said so. They spent a fortune on this strange looking man-root. They still do. Thousands of years ago ginseng was taken in order to extend life, to sharpen sexual functioning, to bring clarity to the brain and energy to the body. Russian and German scientists have carried out lengthy studies into the effects of ginseng on humans and animals and concluded that it does indeed sharpen the brain and shorten reaction time. It also improves concentration and helps protect you from damage caused by exposure to long-term stress. GARLIC PROTECTS The ancient Greeks—including Pliny as far back as the first century AD—insisted that this smelly plant banishes worms and coughs. By now there have been more than 2,500 studies confirming its anti-microbial properties and its usefulness in warding off flu and colds not to mention its ability to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels which are too high, and to help clear yeast infections. COMFREY KNITS Its very name comes from the Latin conferta which means ‘grow together’. In 400BC the Greek physician Dioscorides praised comfrey for its ability to stop heavy bleeding and clear bronchial infections. Science confirms that comfrey is rich in the healing compound allantoin which enhances tissue growth and cell multiplication. That is why you so often find it added to ointments and face creams. GINGER SOOTHES A core remedy in the Chinese pharmacopoeia for nausea and gentle cleansing, the deliciously hot ginger plant has been used for more than 1500 years by wise women healers in Europe for tummy upsets. Many scientific studies confirm that it helps travel sickness. Some even show it helps morning sickness in pregnancy—in part because it has the ability to calm excess acid in the stomach and improve digestion. FEVERFEW BANISHES Eccentric English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper was always singing the praises of this cheerful daisy-like plant with its lacy leaves. It was, he claimed, ‘effectual for all pains in the head.’ Recent studies carried out in Britain and elsewhere confirm that he knew what he was talking about. Feverfew can reduce both the frequency and the intensity of migraine. Once you discover the power of herbs it is easy to become so enthusiastic about them you go overboard trying to use them for everything. It is not wise to take lots of different plants all at the same time. Or you might start to think that since a small amount of something is good for you, taking twice or three times that amount will be even better. It isn’t. If you want safe and sane herbal help here are a few guidelines to follow: Herbs occasionally interact with conventional drugs. Be sure to tell your doctor that you intend to try a herbal remedy. If you want to use herbs to treat a serious medical condition, find yourself a good medical herbalist to work with. Don’t do it yourself. Take no more than recommended dosages of a herb or combination. If you notice any adverse reaction, stop right away. Use only the very best herbs whether they be fresh, dried, teas, tinctures, extracts, or capsules. Give plants enough time to work. Many herbs, such as St John’s Wort and Wild Yam, are slow to build beneficial effects on the body. Look to six weeks for results.

Sacred Cocoa—A Blessing

Sacred Cocoa—A Blessing

People keep hounding me about hot cocoa. “It is OK to drink?” “Will it make me fat?” “Oh god... I just adore it.” These are only a few of the words I’ve been sent in the past few weeks so I guess it’s time to dive into the cocoa scene and make sense of it. A SACRED FOOD Like coffee, cocoa—from which both chocolate and hot chocolate is made—is one of the world’s most sacred foods. And, like all sacred foods, it is meant to be taken only from time to time, and only from the finest, purest source. The worship of the cocoa tree began with the ancient gods of the New World. The Olmec Indians in Central America are credited with the discovery of this tree. Later the Aztecs and Toltecs—who called cocoa ‘food of the gods’—told the story of how Quetzalcoatl, the supreme god of the air, brought the seeds of the tree to earth as a gift to his chosen people. Montezuma, the great Aztec king, is believed to have downed 50 pitchers of an elixir made from cocoa each day. The drink was called ‘xocolatl’, an aphrodisiac—deliverer of strength, sexuality and vigor. Cortez, who brought it back to Europe in the sixteenth century, soon created a cocoa storm among the courtiers. Madame Pompadour gave her seal of approval to cocoa as an aphrodisiac, while Casanova claimed cocoa was the perfect tool for seduction. Some recent research partly explains why. Scientists in California have isolated a substance in cocoa, which links into our brain receptor sites and, like cannabis, brings sensations of pleasure and relaxation. But cocoa, I suspect, has many secrets. This is only one of them which feeds our passion for this dark,seductive food and at the same time enhances our passion for love. SOOTHING ENERGY Cocoa contains naturally-occurring mild stimulants called methylxanthines. Theobromine is the predominant methylxanthine in cocoa. It’s believed to lend cardiovascular support and the mood-elevating properties ascribed to chocolate. Caffeine is another methylxanthine present in lesser amounts in cocoa that contributes to its energizing effect. If you're going to drink cocoa, only buy unsweetened organic cocoa, not only because it's the most delicious, but also because it is the real thing—as unprocessed as possible. Avoid powdered cocoa with sugar and milk in it like the plague. Such products have none of the health-enhancing properties of the real thing. On the market these days you find all sorts of imitation hot chocolate products, which have had vegetable fats and god knows what else added to them. Avoid them. Make your cocoa drinks with water, sheep’s milk, unsweetened rice or almond milk, with natural stevia to taste for sweetening. ONLY THE BEST My favorite cocoa for hot chocolate is unique in the world. It’s called CocoCeps. Created by Madre Labs, it’s an unsweetened, instant, certified premium organic cocoa into which full-spectrum immune-enhancing micronized Cordyceps and Reishi mushroom powders have been added. CocoCeps Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis) is a mushroom which has been used in Tibetan and Chinese cultures as a tonic to promote energy and longevity. Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is probably the most well-known tonic mushroom in the world. It is known in China by the name Ling Zhi, and revered throughout East Asia as the "Mushroom of Longevity." Low in calories, at 20 calories per serving, all of its ingredients are organic, and the product is not only delicious; it is energy supporting, yet calming, all at the same time. Order CocoCeps from iherb I use the the wonderful Wisdom Natural, SweetLeaf, Liquid Stevia, in English Toffee flavor to sweeten my cups. Spoonable Stevia By Stevita: Spoonable Stevia by Stevita uses only stevia extract with at least 95% pure glycosides (extremely sweet tasting ingredients of the Stevia herb leaves), and a little erythritol, a crystal granulated naturally produced filler found in fruits, vegetables and grains. It is best for baking and sprinkling. Order Spoonable Stevia By Stevita from iherb ENGLISH TOFFEE STEVIA: Wisdom Natural, SweetLeaf, Liquid Stevia, English Toffee Sweet Leaf liquid stevia with all natural flavors is convenient and easy to use. As a supplement, add this nutritious stevia to water, tea, coffee, milk, sparkling water, protein shakes, plain yogurt or anything else you can imagine. It comes in many different flavors including lemon but English Toffee flavor is the best by far. Order English Toffee Stevia from iherb ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: If you decide to order any products from Iherb.com, you will automatically receive $5 or $10 off your first order. Their products are the cheapest and best in the world…I use them for everything no matter where I am. Get it sent to you via DHL. It will be with you in three to four working days… iHerb.com ship all over the world very cheaply. IMPORTANT - Do not be fooled by the artificially made Stevia products such as Truvia and Purevia. These products are not the natural Stevia plant. To learn more read my post here called beware of Truvia.

Fiber In All It's Glory

Fiber In All It's Glory

Remember how your mother or grandmother used to tell you to make sure you got “lots of bulk”—and that meant eating oatmeal, muffins, and lots of wholegrain bread? Well, they were partly right and they were terribly wrong. Fiber is a vital part of your diet when it comes to promoting health and protecting the body from degeneration. But cereals, whole-wheat and bran muffins are not the way to go. TRUTH ABOUT FIBER What is the way to go? The answer may surprise you. The healthiest source of fiber does not come from wholegrains—which disturb blood sugar, create insulin resistance, and cause leptin resistance, making many people fat. (These things, by the way, have become a major driver in most chronic degenerative diseases.) The best fiber comes from fresh fruits and vegetables, which are full of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber: This kind of fiber is found in dark green leafy vegetables, green beans, celery, kale and carrots. It’s the kind of fiber that does not dissolve at all, but adds bulk to your stools. It helps other foods you are eating move rapidly through your digestive tract so that elimination becomes healthier and more regular. Soluble fiber: This kind of fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. You find soluble fiber in seeds, peas, nuts, blueberries and other berries, fresh beans and psyllium seeds. Soluble fiber helps slow down your digestion. It makes you feel full for longer. This is important for people who have a tendency to gain weight and to suffer from food cravings. One of the magic things about good quality fiber is that it actually ferments inside. This is wonderful because it releases something called acetate, which travels from your gut to the hypothalamus—the control center in your brain—and there it helps you stop eating more than your body needs. WHAT IS FIBER? Dietary fiber is a biological unit, not a chemical entity such as a vitamin or mineral. We get the best fiber from eating plant foods—beans, seeds, some pulses, fresh raw vegetables and fruits. Using simple sugars contained within, these plants produce a number of carbohydrate polymers. Some of these serve as energy stores for the plants, and are almost completely digested and absorbed in the intestine when we eat them. These are the soluble fibers. Others—the fibrous or viscous polysaccharides and lignins—lend the plants their structure and form, but we cannot digest them. Instead, they pass through the colon intact, where they are fermented to some degree before being eliminated from the body as waste. These indigestible polysaccharides, which make up the cell walls of plants, are known collectively as “insoluble dietary fiber”. They have a variety of other names, too. EACH IS UNIQUE Each kind of fiber behaves differently and has different benefits for the body: From cellulose, which binds water and increases fecal bulk, to pectin—very rich in apples—which is water soluble; hemicellulose, which shares some of cellulose’s characteristics and helps relieves constipation, aids weight reduction, and clears out carcinogens from the bowel; lignin—the woody fiber that you find in raspberries, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, parsley and tomatoes—which helps eliminate the wrong kind of cholesterol and bile acids from the intestine; and the gums and mucilages, which are sticky fibers that food manufacturers make good use of as thickening agents in convenience foods. MASSES OF HEALTH BENEFITS When it comes to enhancing your health, protecting you from degenerative conditions and weight gain, the gifts of fiber are many. First, the right kind of fiber—such as acacia fiber, a soluble fiber—is great for helping people with irritable bowel syndrome. Using an insoluble fiber, such as beans or peas, can reduce the risk of diverticulitis by about 40%. All forms of soluble fiber help slow down the rate at which your body absorbs carbohydrates and sugars, helping to clear sugar cravings and aiding weight loss. Fiber is also great for your skin, especially psyllium husks and seeds. These help clear any overgrowth of Candida albicans—fungi and yeasts—from your body, helping to eliminate food cravings and protecting your skin from acne and rashes. A high-fiber diet helps lower your risk of hemorrhoids, which are caused by chronic constipation. A high-fiber diet also reduces the risk of kidney and gallstones, probably because it helps to regulate blood sugar. Research shows that good quality fibers help heart patients live longer. They are also marvelous for curbing the appetite. One of the surprising ways in which they not only do this, but also help protect us from degenerative conditions, is through fermentation. This process in the gut releases acetate, a waste product that has powerful and positive effects on the body. One of the things it does is to transmit information to the hypothalamus in the brain, which regulates your appetite and tells you when you’ve eaten enough. Research indicates that the appetite-suppressing qualities of acetate are excellent. RADIATION PROTECTORS Some of the best protection from radiation—which we’re experiencing more and more in our increasingly polluted environment—comes from fiber. So make use of it to protect yourself from the kind of radiation poisoning that now contributes to degenerative diseases. Seaweed is also one a great source of radiation protection. Studies have shown that alginate in seaweed and kelp products protect an organism from absorbing radioactive elements such as strontium-90 and cesium, both of which are incredibly dangerous to the body. Amongst other things, strontium-90 tends to replace calcium in the bones, leading to bone disease and cancer. Kelp is helpful in protecting against other kinds of environmental pollutants. The fucoidin it contains helps block the absorption of lead and other heavy metals. There is some evidence that, like pectin—the dietary fiber found in good quantities in apples—it can also help remove much heavy metal poisoning from the body from cadmium, aluminum and lead. Putting seaweeds in soups and vegetable dishes, making laverbread, or even taking kelp tablets can all help prevent the buildup of heavy metals in your body. FIBER 101 Governments recommend that we take in somewhere between 10 and 25 grams of fiber a day. Most people only get half of this, or even less. Because I eat 50% to 70% of my foods raw, I take in at least 40 grams a day. What is interesting is this: Research shows that our Paleolithic ancestors as well as tribal cultures, a few of which still exist on the planet, got somewhere between 35 and 60 grams of fiber a day! Aim for 30 to 40 grams of fiber a day and eat lots of vegetable foods. Your body will thrive on it. You will not find any good quality fiber in manufactured and processed foods. I strongly advise you not to eat such foods. Here are some of the vegetable foods and seeds that are excellent sources of fiber. Flax seeds, chia seeds, and psyllium seed husks Vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale Macadamia nuts and almonds Berries of all kinds Green beans, peas, onions and root vegetables All the fibers listed above have been shown to help the body protect itself from cancer and other forms of degeneration so common in our world—fibroids, endometriosis, Alzheimer’s disease and heart problems. These fibers can also help tremendously to alter the metabolism of excess estrogen in the bowel—so that more of it is excreted and less of it is reabsorbed. I personally eat lots of green vegetables—most of them raw. My favorite source of seed fibers is twofold: Organic chia seeds and organic whole psyllium husks, which deliver both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. If you have any sort of irritable bowel issues, I recommend acacia fiber. It is a soluble fiber that is very soothing to the gut. GO RAW What is so special about organic raw vegetables? Plenty. They have powerful protective qualities, which is why diets high in fresh green vegetables are recommended as an aid for protecting the body from degenerative diseases: Arteriosclerosis, arthritis and cancer. This is especially true of raw vegetables. Even more important, a diet high in raw vegetables not only provides you with the best quality fiber that you’ll find anywhere. It actually increases the microelectric potentials of your body’s tissues, making your cells function better, improving intra- and extra-cellular exchange, and imparting high levels of mental and physical vitality to your whole being. Fresh organic vegetables are the best source of natural fiber, vitamins and minerals for high-level wellness. I suggest that at least 50% of what you eat each day be made up of raw vegetables with some of the best low-glycemic fruits, such as the berries. Go raw. You won’t regret it. LESLIE RECOMMENDS Apart from all those wonderful green, organic vegetables you can sprout in your kitchen or grow in your garden, the products that I like best providing wonderful sources of fiber are these: Psyllium husks Chia seeds Acacia fiber BEST ORGANIC PSYLLIUM USDA Organic Non-Irradiated Kosher Certified Organic by QAI Certified Organic Plantago Ovata ForssK. Herbal Supplement Buy Organic Psyllium HEATHER’S ORGANIC ACACIA FIBER A medical food for the dietary management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Acacia Senegal is a soluble fiber with a clinically proven prebiotic effect. Studies have shown that soluble fiber, as part of the diet, regulates bowel motility (alleviating both diarrhea and constipation), and relieves abdominal pain from IBS. Acacia Senegal's prebiotic effect stimulates the growth of healthy gut flora, which in turn reduces bloating, gas, and bowel irregularities from the digestive dysfunction of IBS. Heather's Tummy Fiber is unique, because it has a good gastrointestinal tolerance and a proven significantly bifidogenic effect. Heather's Tummy Fiber is formulated specifically for the dietary management of IBS. It is 100% Acacia Senegal, and contains no low grade Acacia seyal. It also has no IBS triggers. Buy Acacia Fiber SALBA SMART NATURAL PRODUCTS, ORGANIC CHIA SEEDS, WHOLE SEED This is not your average chia seed - it's the Albert Einstein and Hercules of chia. University studies find Salba Chia seeds do heavy-lifting nutritionally, providing a daily Omega-3 (ALA) and fiber boost, and they earn extra credit for minerals. High in Omega-3 (ALA,) High in Fiber, Good Source of Calcium & Minerals, USDA Organic, Non GMO Project Verified, Dietary Supplement, Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, Certified Organic by: International Certification Services Buy Organic Chia Seeds

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Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

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